Why Chael Sonnen Deserves An Immediate Rematch With Anderson Silva
I don’t want to come across too strongly here, especially for those would like to see Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen move on to other opponents rather than fight each other again. Everyone has their own opinions and thoughts about the matter, but I wanted to give three reasons as to why it would be best to give Sonnen an immediate rematch.
1. Sonnen deserves it.
And I’m not simply talking about his work inside the octagon. Chael Sonnen was a giver in the build-up, the actual match, and the aftermath of his fight with Anderson Silva. He made people believe that what looked like an uncompetitive match was really a fight that people wanted to see. Anderson Silva has fought many guys and the one thing he brings to the build up is that he’s simply that damn good. But there was a problem this time.
Many folks, myself included, were worried about going to the Silva well one too many times. I had a chance to go to the UFC 117 in Oakland and decided that I didn’t want to risk my own unhappiness just in case Anderson Silva goofed around and had another unwatchable fight. But after it was all said and done, I have to admit that I wasn’t as worried about the risk because of Sonnen. It looked like Sonnen had gotten to Silva and that he was going to make sure their fight was going to be unlike some of Silva’s stinkers. Silva didn’t do anything to persuade me. It was Sonnen.
So Chael Sonnen took a fight that had a less than zero buzz originally and turned it into a fight that people wanted to see. And then inside the octagon, he pushed Anderson Silva harder than any man has ever done. He made Silva fight and go to his reservoirs to pull out the triangle to win the match.
Do what’s right. Reward the hardest working man in MMA.
2. It’s the best money fight right now in the division.
If you bring back Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva with another four of five months of build, my guess is that you have at least a 900,000 PPV buys fight. If you put Silva and Vitor Belfort in there, which is probably the next biggest fight (as the main event), you’re probably talking about half of the buys. Yushin Okami and Silva? Less than that.
I get that people don’t want to see rematches all the time. They want fresh fights. And the UFC has actually gone against rematches in some instances for that very reason. I can think of a Rampage Jackson vs. Chuck Liddell fight that would’ve probably done upwards of 750,000 buys that they decided to not pursue immediately that cost them some money.
But this is a business. Put on the fights that will make the most money. Sonnen vs. Silva II is money.
3. I think it’s a competitive fight.
I specifically said in my preview to this fight that I didn’t think it was going to be competitive. I thought Sonnen would push Silva hard and then fall to some brilliant counter punching. But it never happened. Sonnen pushed and pushed and pushed and Silva couldn’t keep up. Now, you have to give Silva some credit for taking advantage of Sonnen’s mistake that seems to always happen to him in losses. But Sonnen won 22 out of the 23 minutes of that fight.
Many think that Silva would figure Sonnen out quickly the next time they fight and turn his lights out. I actually disagree. Silva is the one who has to figure Sonnen out and not the other way around. Sonnen has followed the only blueprint that has seemed to work against Silva. Pressure him and get him to the ground. Make him work. Don’t give him room to unleash his bombs. And Sonnen worked that to a tee.
Silva is the one who is going to have to figure out how to defend himself. He’ll have to work on his wrestling. He’ll have to work on his strength from his back. The only thing Sonnen has to figure out is simply how to fight with a lead.
I think it’s a truly brilliant rematch and one that is just as easy a rematch to make as Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua was and a better rematch than Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn. I hope we get to see it again soon. How about we book it for January?
Photo of Sonnen shared via Wikipedia through the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
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